Piano Repair & Tuning – What to Search For in a Secondhand Piano (Tuning Pins, Cracked Wrest Planks)
You can select up an old antique piano for $400. I know, since I just marketed a single. But how do you know if it’s worth acquiring at all? Will it be repairable and will it be Alright for your youngster to learn on? You need to have to know what to appear for.
The wrest plank and tuning pins of my Moore & Moore upright piano all seemed superb. It was one of the greatest I might at any time seen in that respect–there was no evidence of damaged or abused pins, they all appeared original, none had been hammered in, none experienced marks on them, they ended up not bent and there have been no symptoms of cracks or other injury to the wrest plank. The seem board (the biggest piece of wood, powering the strings in the centre of the instrument) had no cracks possibly, and the strings all appeared good. The motion (the moving parts) worked nicely on all the notes, and the dampers stopped the sound of each observe when you lifted the important or raised the damper pedal. There was 1 missing plastic crucial, but that would be simple to replace. Most outdated pianos would not look so good on the within.
Then, a pair of weeks later I received a grievance from the very dissatisfied buyer:
“Hello Margaret. After we had the piano sent we got a piano tuner out and had been actually unhappy…it was not able to be tuned…when the tuner attempted to tighten the pins they would unwind straight away and she mentioned it was no great at all…so we have hired a piano. When the men came out to produce the [new] piano they also explained “No, which is cactus…”
But the piano was really very tunable, and the inside workings had been in very excellent problem. Sooner or later, soon after Piano repairs london from me, the consumer realised he’d located a very usable instrument.
The talent of the tuner is paramount to retaining the strings and tuning pins ‘on pitch.’ When living in the remote town of Karratha, I taught myself to tune a extremely previous piano in a lot even worse issue than this. I also did some tunings on a few of my students’ previous pianos. In all situations it was extremely difficult to keep them in tune for more than a few minutes, partly due to my bad technique with the tuning hammer (lever). Nevertheless, when a professional tuner came to city he did a wonderful occupation and the a few rickety outdated pianos stayed well in tune for numerous months.
When a piano has not been tuned for some years it may possibly demand a lot more than one particular tuning to ‘come up to pitch.’ It is unattainable to know how nicely this is heading to pan out, you can only attempt it and see how many tunings it requirements. The strings have tonnes of tension and you have to wait for the tension to even out prior to undertaking one more tuning. It can just take months before the tuning settles.
When he purchased my Moore & Moore piano I advised him it essential re-hydrating (it needed more drinking water or dampness in the wooden). If the wrest plank had dried out the pins would definitely be unfastened. In Karratha we re-hydrated all three old pianos and it produced a Large difference. The easy cure is to location a beaker of drinking water within the piano at the bottom. The even bigger, the greater, since men and women tend to overlook about them and they ultimately run out of drinking water. It requires months to have an impact. This re-hydrating also appeared to correct an motion issue that two of our pianos experienced. Some tuners do not like h2o beakers, they reckon they will cause issues with the motion or rust the strings so professional tips must be sought from a skilled technician, but it worked nicely for us. There are commercially-obtainable humidifiers/de-humidifiers specifically created for pianos.
An additional cheap method to help with the tuning is to hammer the pins into the wrest plank. It really is a normal remedy but you will find a limit to how a lot and how usually the pins can be hammered in. The pins on this outdated piano seemed like they’d by no means been hammered at all, so that was even now a viable choice. It truly is certainly a occupation for a competent piano technician, to stay away from harm to the pins or wrest plank.
A significantly much more pricey technique is to substitute the pins with more substantial pins (they appear in distinct measurements), but it would be a huge endeavor and it would be more affordable to get one more piano.